Monday, July 1, 2013

Young Preachers

I'm 48 now, not a young preacher no matter how you look at it. I used to say, if you want to be a good preacher - go preach 1,000 sermons and you'll be on your way. But where do you get a chance to preach that much? I was blessed in each of my youth ministries to have many opportunities to preach (mostly on Sunday nights) to our adult congregation. I can't thank Fred, Wayne, or Ross (they were the sr. pastors I served with) enough for allowing me so many opportunities to stretch my preaching wings. I have preached close to 1,000 sermons at this point, so I'm on my way to learning how to preach. But after this coming Sunday, I'll be out of the pulpit at Eastview for three straight weeks. It's only appropriate that I let some of the young preachers on our staff lead us from the word in my absence! Certainly, things are a bit different - I usually preached in front of 125 and they will preach to thousands. We didn't have a big video screens back then, and the worship was usually two or three songs picked out of a hymn book 15 minutes before church started. But when you remove all the externals, preaching is preaching. It comes down to opening the Bible and talking about what God is saying to us through it. The next three weeks the three youngest members of our preaching team will preach to our adults on Sunday morning. You may not know this, but our preaching team at Eastview consists of our Jr. High preaching pastor (Caleb Baker), Sr. High preaching pastor (Matt Fogle), college preaching pastor (Charlie Welke), our spiritual formation pastor (J.K. Jones), and me. We meet weekly to pray through, study together, and brainstorm the upcoming week's text. On most Sundays what is being preached in our adult worship services is also being preached in our Sr. High worship (ONE), our Jr. High Worship (EDGE), and in our college age ministry (formerly called FUEL). Of course, J.K. brings at least 35 years of preaching experience and over 20 years of teaching preaching in the university to the table and I have been a preaching guy for my whole life. In essence, it is a college level preaching lab every week. It is a blast and I can't wait to see the "projects" these three young men will "turn in" August 14, 21, and 28. In a small way, I hope I'm returning the favor that was afforded me all these years ago. Who knows what God will do with these guys in the future, but hopefully Eastview will be a place they find great nurture!

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